I haven’t written anything in ages, mostly because whatever I want to share, I just post it on Twitter. But I felt a dire need to express myself and write about… well, various things – and I need more than 140 characters for that. So yeah, here’s what’s up (and some of what I thought was hip in 2013.).
The seemingly spontaneous first paragraph
I’m writing this with help of the fantastic WordPress Front-End Editor plugin (which is going end up in WP Core, eventually – looking forward to it). It’s much easier to concentrate on writing when all you have in front of your eyes is the final version of the “product”, visually speaking. I’ve never gotten used to the full-screen variant of the WP editor, but this works just great for me.
When the plugin is completed, it’s going to be almost as gorgeous as Medium’s content editor.
I’ve modified my WordPress theme a bit, and I’m currently really satisfied with the look and feel of the website (which I haven’t been in a long time).
I’ve had a really hard time finding the right font, because most of them look like sh*t when font smoothing/clear type is off. I’m shortsighted, I wear eyeglasses, and I have astigmatism – reading with font smoothing turned on is a pain for me. So, after going through all (and I mean all of them) Google and TypeKit serif fonts, I’ve narrowed it down to three that looked pleasant to my eyes: Vollkorn, Volkhov and PT Serif. Initially, I went with Vollkorn: although it’s a lovely font, it doesn’t look that great in bold. Volkhov was my second choice, but after numerous comparisons I decided that I like PT Serif just a smidge better. For headings, I chose Lato; I think it complements PT Serif quite nicely.
Reads and Readability
And this font talk has now reminded me: I’ve asked the folks at Readability if they could offer some standard font in their options, for people like me. I hope they will, because in this age of information overload, I couldn’t live without a tool like Readability. I’m especially fond of its “Export to EPUB” feature, which makes it possible for me to easily transfer to and read all those saved for later articles on my Nook. Here’s a list of some of my favorite articles from the past few months.
On to reads…
I’ve finally read “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. It’s a book written in form of a report diary of a man called Charlie Gordon. His reports start a few weeks before he is scheduled to undergo an experimental surgery which should increase his (very low) IQ. I really can’t tell you much more about the plot without spoiling it, but trust me: this book is one remarkable journey. Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading it and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.
“The making of Karateka” is another great book I’ve read this year. It’s also written in form of a diary, but this one is not fictional: it’s a collection of Jordan Mechner‘s diary entries from 1982-1984, while he was working on his game “Karateka”. The game received rave reviews and sold over 500 000 copies world-wide. While you may have never heard of “Karateka”, I’m sure you’ve heard of the game he made next, “Prince of Persia”.
If you’re fond of the Alien universe and don’t mind reading movie scripts, you won’t be disappointed by a fan-written script by Anil Jacob Kunnel, titled “Alien Planet“. I’ll steal the logline from the forum I found the download link on: “Following the events of Alien: Resurrection, Ellen Ripley is aboard an exploration vessel heading toward the Xenomorph homeworld, where she and the rest of the crew must struggle to survive.” It’s an exciting read, very well written and I wouldn’t mind a bit if it had been made into a movie. AvPGalaxy has a review of the script.
To conclude the reading list: I’m currently reading “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau. I find it a bit difficult to follow at times because of the 1800’s language and some very long sentences, but it’s also way more interesting than I thought it would be.
Obsessed with moving pictures
To keep things short(er), I’ll just link you up with a list of movies I’ve found most enjoyable in 2013 (!important: some of them were released in 2012!)
On the series front, there were a few new shows I stuck to, some of them excellent (The Wrong Mans, The Fall, Broadchurch, Orphan Black), some surprisingly good (The Blacklist, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Sleepy Hollow) and some that are better than average and might improve in time (Almost Human). In semi-particular order, yesteryear’s favorites remain: Person of Interest, Castle, Psych, Awkward, Arrow, Big Bang Theory, The Neighbors, Supernatural, Grimm, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Continuum, and a guilty pleasure above all guilty pleasures: Revolution. I recently started watching Parks and Recreation and it has quickly become one of my all-time favorites.
Fringe and Breaking Bad both ended in 2013., unfortunately. Both Walters will be missed. I just hope there’s more good stuff where they came from.
I don’t feel like writing about music (at this moment)…
…but, please, do take a listen to these two beautiful, haunting soundtracks: The Grey (Marc Streitenfeld) and Monsters (Jon Hopkins). They are not that recent, but they are my favorites and I listen to them often.
That’s it for this blog post. Need fulfilled, I guess. I think I’ll write more soon; about music and audio libraries for composers, maybe about web stuff, or about awesomeness of WDTV Live assisted by Plex.
Happy New Year ;)